The Israel Air Force struck two centers of terrorist activity in the southern and central Gaza Strip overnight Saturday in response to rocket fire into southern Israel, according to the IDF Spokesman's office.

The IAF recorded direct hits on both targets and all aircraft involved in the actions returned safely to their respective bases.

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The strike came after a Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council area earlier on Saturday. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack.

The IAF strikes caused some damage near the central Gazan city of Khan Yunis, but no casualties were reported, according to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

The IDF reiterated that attacks directed against Israeli citizens would not be tolerated and the army would continue to act against terrorists. Hamas will be held responsible for all terror activity emanating from Gaza, an IDF statement added.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned last week that the IDF is prepared to launch an operation to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians in the South under the threat of rockets if it is forced to do so.

“If we don’t have a choice, we’ll know how to operate in Gaza, and when it happens, we will initiate an orderly and painful [operation],” Gantz said while touring a Golani Brigade base, according to Israel Radio.

There was an upsurge in rocket attacks on southern cities last month. Two civilians were killed, and residential areas in Ashdod and Beersheba were damaged.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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